Rollers of the Realm: Reunion Preview
There are some games that are appealing for their originality and others that are surprising for their unusual combination of genres. Rollers of the Realm: Reunion, a mashup of pinball and role-playing games, forms part of both categories. It is mainly aimed at players who remember with nostalgia the days when they went to the arcade to play pinball and hang out with friends, but it also invites young gamers to give it a try. During PAX Online, RPGamer was given the opportunity to talk to Phantom Compass’ CEO Tony Walsh about the upcoming release of Rollers of the Realm: Reunion.
The game is a sequel to 2014 Rollers of the Realm, which has a downloadable demo for those who want to give it a chance and understand the mechanics a little more. The inspiration comes from veteran players’ experiences playing in the arcade, yet it also gets ideas from digital pinball. The game sees players controlling a group of heroes who fight against an ancient power. As one can imagine, these characters are pinballs with different stats and physics, and everything, including exploration and puzzle solving, happens in pinball playfields. Players need to move the flippers, bounce the ball, and tilt the table in order to defeat their enemies and progress in the story.
Players choose three characters for their battles in the pinball field. The arrangement of characters gives different abilities and buffs. It’s a unique take on the battle system of standard action RPGs. Common enemies and bosses need to be hit in order to be defeated. Every time a bump is hit, mana is charged; when mana reaches a certain amount, special abilities can be used. Flippers are like the party’s defenses, so they begin to wear down and become smaller as they receive damage, which ultimately makes it easier for the ball to go in between them. The system is intuitive: shoot the ball and try to hit the enemies or certain objects. Besides the use of flippers, players are encouraged to tilt the virtual table. Developing the role-playing aspect, heroes have different characteristics and stats that can be upgraded.
There will be narrative ties to the first game, but nothing that will make newcomers feel like they are missing something or that this entry is an incomplete game. Returning players will be familiar with several recognizable characters from the previous installment. Additionally, this sequel promises to feature improvements, such as new ways of playing the game, battle buffs, and more role-playing options. In contrast with its predecessor, Rollers of the Realm: Reunion will include only five characters, so they can be developed with more detail.
Phantom Compass’ goal is to take the best from the first game and try to make it more colorful and exciting. This sequel will include a new quest system, a journal with tasks, multiple save slots, and new types of creatures and environments. In addition, players can slow time to play at their own pace, including a difficulty slider. The controls are going to be customisable so that they can be adapted to the needs of each particular player. A co-op play mode in which players can split the control of the flippers will also be available.
Rollers of the Realm: Reunion fuses the depth of RPGs with an iconic arcade game. This second entry promises to please previous players and captivate newcomers. The game will be available for PC via Steam and the Epic Games Store sometime in 2022.